de heilige Aurora voor de kerk in Sella

To the vultures of the Sierra de Mariola in Alcoy

It is a beautiful 45 minute trip that leads to Alcoy and the "Area del Preventori". From there a 1 km steep walk takes you to the viewpoint of the Sierra de Mariola and Alcoy where a colony of griffon vultures nests in the rocks of the canyon.

For years our guests and we have been going to this unique place to enjoy the vultures amidst tranquility, nature and stunning views.

To observe these gigantic animals is a unique experience and well worth the ride and walk.
The excursion can be combined with a visit to the city of Alcoy.

It started in 2000

naar de vale gierenRanger Alvar Segui and his son started back in 2000 with a project to bring the Griffon vulture back to the region. In recent decades the slurry had disappeared as a result of the use of pesticides.

With the support of NGOs like FAPAS, the national Fund for the Protection of Wild Animals ( and eight volunteers injured vultures were brought in from wildlife recovery centers (two from Alicante, two from Castellon and four from Madrid). The group was hoised at the summit of the Sierra Mariola and an old quarry functioned as a feeding station.

about vultures

de gieren zitten op de rand van de kloofThe vultures that were born here mostly remain in the same area.
They lay one egg a year, and the chicks are constantly monitored by both parents.
Therefore, the amount in the the herd only grows slowly, but in 2010 there were appr. 150 birds.

The vultures pair in wintertime, the young birds fly off after 3 to 4 months. At the age of 4 to 7 pairs vultures start to pair and life expectancy is 40 years.
The adult vulture is the largest bird found in Spain, even bigger than an Iberian Imperial Eagle, with a wingspan of 2.60 meters.
The vulture is one meter long from beak to tail and weighs 6-8 pounds.
He is recognizable by his golden color and 'mane' of gold feathers behind the head.

The vultures glide rather than fly, they have no long feathers on their bodies, as they are aerodynamic and they can easily remove the blood after eating.

Vultures are very social and live in family groups, they do everything together. Once a pair has successfully hatched, they stay together for life.

The colony in Alcoy

gier vliegt over AlcoyThe colony nests of twigs and straw on ledges in the rocks near the feeding.

Several companies support the project (the local mechanic, the butcher) and the schoolchildren of Alcoy follow the project on vultures. There are several short-term grants from the Conselleria of the environment and the town hall.

This text is based on the article on the vultures on the website of the friends of Avinenca

Route from Sella

To the start of the walk on a larger map

More excursions and tours from Villa Pico and Sella

markets page safari page Fiestas pageVultures page Climbing page Tour by car from Sella to Jijona